Journey to Recovery: An Interview with a SABR Program Participant

*The name of this individual has been change to protect his identity and privacy.

Early Exposure and Escalation

Michael, a participant in the Sexual Addiction Behavior Recovery (SABR) program, recalls his early exposure to pornography as seemingly innocuous. It began with curiosity and the ease of access during his adolescence. However, as he transitioned into high school and later college, what started as a casual engagement quickly spiraled into a compulsive habit. "It was during college that I realized I was using pornography not just for pleasure, but as a coping mechanism for stress, loneliness, and insecurities," Michael shares.

The Burden of Shame

With the deepening of his addiction, Michael felt an overwhelming sense of shame. This shame became a barrier that prevented him from seeking help. "I was terrified of being 'found out', especially by my wife and my pastor," he admits. The fear of judgment and the stigma associated with sexual addiction kept him in a cycle of secrecy and self-loathing. This silent struggle was one he battled alone, too ashamed to disclose the extent of his addiction to those closest to him.

Educational Awakening through SABR

Enrollment in the SABR program marked a pivotal point in Michael's journey. The program offered more than just therapy; it provided a comprehensive educational framework that helped him understand the psychological underpinnings of his behaviors. "Learning about the addictive cycle from experts like Dr. Doug Weiss and integrating these insights into my understanding of self was transformative," explains Michael. This education was crucial in changing his perception of addiction from a moral failing to a treatable condition.

Accountability and Recovery

One of the core components of SABR that Michael credits with his recovery is the accountability structure and group activities. "Being part of a community that understands and supports each other was something I never knew I needed," he says. The program activities, tasks, open discussions and shared experiences alleviated his sense of isolation. The group setting provided a safe space to confront and overcome his behaviors, pushing him towards sustainable recovery practices.

A Renewed Life of Faithfulness

Today, Michael speaks with a palpable sense of joy and gratitude. He has embraced a life of faithfulness to his wife and to God, a stark contrast to his past. "I never thought I could be here—a place of honesty, recovery, and faith. The SABR program didn’t just help me stop a behavior; it helped me start a new life," he reflects. His journey through the SABR program has restored his relationships and his faith, providing him with a foundation to prevent relapse and to help others facing similar struggles.


Michael’s story is a powerful testimony to the effectiveness of the SABR program and the possibility of recovery from pornography and sexual addiction. His experiences underscore the importance of understanding addiction, the critical role of therapeutic interventions, and the profound impact of community support.

For those struggling with similar issues, there is hope. The Family Strategies Counseling Center has been helping individuals since 2000 through programs like SABR. For more information or assistance, visit Family Strategies Counseling Center or call (800) 614-8142.

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